Improvements in water intervention projects through product design methods

Richard Harlow, Lyndon Buck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication

Abstract

At a 2018 community discussion workshop for the EU Horizon 2020 funded WATERSPOUTT project in Chikwawa, Malawi, village representatives discussed water collection from the Shire river. WATERSPOUTT aims to provide safe drinking water to sub-Saharan African communities who rely on unsafe sources. A consortium of EU and African researchers is carrying out a technological development programme to advance applications based on Solar Disinfection (SoDis), providing clean potable water. The water in Chikwawa is polluted by sewage from upstream, bodies that have fallen in due to accidents and dirt and bacteria stirred up by rain, increasing the incidence of illness. Where products have been successful in previous projects, the user is limited to a specific process and when their situations change the technologies are no longer suitable. The constraints of these projects raise issues vital for consideration by design students such as localised production, sustainability, co-design and cultural appropriation. Design is a tool for producing products to solve a user’s daily problems with the potential to develop long lasting solutions for those not in a position to create them for themselves. This paper reviews past interventions where design methods have been implemented, their effects, and primary research from this project. Discussing the importance of user engagement and the involvement of cultural factors in the advancement of new product development, the paper provides new considerations in user centred design for students and educators while discussing how design methods could be used to improve long term sustainability of intervention product design.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
Subtitle of host publicationTowards a New Innovation Landscape, E and PDE 2019
EditorsErik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Ross Brisco, Dorothy Evans, Hilary Grierson, William Ion, Robert Ian Whitfield
PublisherThe Design Society
ISBN (Electronic)9781912254057
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2019
Event21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2019 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Sep 201913 Sep 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Towards a New Innovation Landscape, E and PDE 2019

Conference

Conference21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityGlasgow
Period12/09/1913/09/19

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The WATERSPOUTT project described in this paper has received funding from the European Union?s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 688928

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Institution of Engineering Designers, The Design Society. All rights reserved.

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Filtration
  • Product design
  • Solar disinfection
  • Sustainability
  • Water treatment

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